Cory's off to National Academy
TENNIS: Cory Jacobs first served up on Rockhampton’s tennis courts when he was just four-years old, and now, 12 years later, he will hit off with the National Academy.
The 16-year-old this week has accepted a scholarship with Australia Tennis and will head to Brisbane alone to chase a dream he has been after since he won his first championship.
“This is what I want to do, this is my main priority for me at the moment and I am really focused on it to be successful,” Jacobs said yesterday. “When I made the Queensland team when I was 12, I really started to get fairly serious about tennis.”
Last season the local, who is ranked 14 in Australia in his age group, slammed his way through to claim the 2009 Rod Laver Queensland Junior Championships for the under-16s singles.
“Rod Laver was a big highlight for me because I won it when I was 10 as well and it has been a while since I got close to winning it again,” Jacobs said yesterday.
And in his short career Jacobs has captained the Queensland team, collected the State Age Championships several times and made the Australian Merit team.
Rockhampton’s Robert Beak had coached Jacobs for the past 12 years and the pair yesterday had their last training session together.
“I knew he had something the was very first day he came in as after about five minutes I went straight to his parents – I said to them ‘he has a bit of talent there’,” Beak said.
“He has been up there since he was 10 and was the top local junior and won all the big tournaments that were around, which is pretty tough.”
But now the local lad will step up his game from regional to national in line with his Queensland scholarship.
Jacobs will finish school through Distance Education as his scholarships requires full-time training six days a week in preparation for open and money tournaments against the best players Australia has on offer.
“It is up to him now, he is 16 years of age – it’s going to be tough,” Beak said.
“These 12 months will tell if he will make it; it just comes down to how bad he wants it.”
Jacobs said he owed a lot to Beak and his physical trainer Larry McDonald, who both helped him reach his present level.
Jacobs will compete in the open division in the 2010 Nambour and District Tennis Open, which hits off next weekend.